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Starting a Business In Poland - what should I know?


MareGaea 29 | 2,752  
20 Feb 2008 /  #1
I don't know if this is in the right forum, but I let the Admins decide this.

My question is, are there anything you should know when you want to start a business in Poland? Are there, besides the common laws concerning enterprises, EU-regulation and so on, any custom laws, written or unwritten in Poland when, as a foreigner, you want to start a business, especially one that probably is going to employ a 150+ (local-) ppl? Is it done as a foreigner to start a business in Poland in the first place? (just want to know the ethical side of this last bit). I'm asking this for a friend who is thinking of setting up a quite big enterprise in or near Wroclaw. (and I want to know plainly out of curiosity:) )

M-G
Wroclaw 44 | 5,384  
20 Feb 2008 /  #2
Hours of work might be different as well as work practice.
OP MareGaea 29 | 2,752  
20 Feb 2008 /  #3
Not from 8 to 5 or 7.30 to 4.30?

M-G
Wroclaw 44 | 5,384  
20 Feb 2008 /  #4
I can only tell you about factory work.

Early start, one break, early finish. Our place closes at 14:00

Office workers often work their lunch and do eight hours. However, many of them find themselves working extra hours, whether they like it or not.

There is a difference in retail working hours too. It all depends on the size and type of store.
OP MareGaea 29 | 2,752  
20 Feb 2008 /  #5
Gonna be a bit of a culture-shock then... Normal is: 2 breaks of 15 mins and one of 30 mins. Work starts at 8 or 9 and finishes 9 hours later at 17.00 or 18.00...At least that's what he's used to now...But thanks for your answers...

M-G
Wroclaw 44 | 5,384  
20 Feb 2008 /  #6
Gonna be a bit of a culture-shock then...

What I have given you is just a guide. Please wait for more replies.

You need answers from people who work in particular sectors.
PolskaDoll 28 | 2,104  
20 Feb 2008 /  #7
who work in particular sectors.

What kind of business will it be MareGaea?
legallegal - | 4  
20 Feb 2008 /  #8
Polish Constitution from 1997 provides that the sources of universally binding law in Poland are: Constitution itself, statutes, ratified international agreements, regulations and enactments of local law issued by proper local organs. (see art. 87 of Polish Constitution)

There are no internal universally binding custom laws in Poland (in the sense known in e.g. The United Kingdom). For example - art. 354 § 1 of Polish Civil Code regulates a way of fulfilment of an obligation (mentiones about customs), but it cannot be confusing with customs as a source of law in the Polish legal system. It is a statutory system - consisting of normative sources of law.

I would say that - customs to become binding must represent a few values: 1) graduall formation in the course of (longer)time, 2) its acceptation by practice and 3) social awareness that particular customs are binding. They must be applied by e.g. courts. Customs issues have been discussed by Polish theory of Law during the past few decades.

Obviously Polish entrepreneurs involved in international trade will sooner or later have to do with customs, but this is a different issue.

I reckon that hours of work will be up to your friend, as they are the employer, however they must stay in accordance with law (see The Labour Code).

I invite your friend to expand in Poland and please do not listen to people who says horrible things about Polish authorities, e.g. registering business activities. I've never met any example of bad behaviour myself neither my friends have. Sometimes they're just tired maybe, that's all.

I also invite anybody having issues before expansion over here to e-mail me: info@legalandcapital.com

Kind Regards
OP MareGaea 29 | 2,752  
21 Feb 2008 /  #9
What kind of business will it be MareGaea?

He produces electronic car-parts, actually he explained it to me many times, but since I have no knowledge of cars whatsoever, I still not fully understand what he actually does...All I know that his parts are used for the electrical part of a car; if you can build an image in your mind based on that :)

All I know that he needs quite specialist ppl, it's not just welding parts onto a microplate, he develops this stuff as well...

M-G (only knows how to drive a car - the rest, well, there are other specialists for that:) )
inkrakow  
21 Feb 2008 /  #10
I think employment law is a big headache. For example, a friend told me that he has to take all his holiday in March. I asked if his employer couldn't just pay him for untaken holidays and he said no - his employer would be fined if he didn't take all his holiday. Another friend was off work so got a doctor's note for a specified number of days. He got better before this time was up but couldn't go back to work as, if he became ill again, the company would be fined. I know this is anecdotal but IMO it flags up that it's something to consider!
Krzysztof100 - | 20  
25 Feb 2008 /  #11
I think You are asking abt something else- law You can check yourself (or your attorney will help)
1. Polish administration is not helpfull. In fact stupidity and avoiding common sense is normal. You may have luck or simpliest things can take months
2. restrictive bankruptcy proceedings- now it's hard to avoid personal responsibility of Board in case of bankruptcy
3. And something better- there is many different inspections, etc., but if you already have estabilished bussines any penalties are symbolic for 100+ employees company
4. abt labor law- polish workers are used to longer workin day. Formally it's 40 h/week with very limited overtime. In fact working day in one-shift factory is 10 hours

other things or my help as attorney- PM please
OP MareGaea 29 | 2,752  
26 Feb 2008 /  #12
Thanks guys! I will pass this info on to my friend and let him decide wether he wants to know more...I'll keep you posted. Thanks again!

M-G
sylviagarcia247  
6 Sep 2008 /  #13
My Polish boyfriend told me that there are some strange laws that are currently implemented in Poland. Ugh!

My question is, are there anything you should know when you want to start a business in Poland? Are there, besides the common laws concerning enterprises, EU-regulation and so on, any custom laws, written or unwritten in Poland when, as a foreigner, you want to start a business, especially one that probably is going to employ a 150+ (local-) ppl?

Sorry, what if I want to set-up a retail or if I want to start an importation business (products from the Philippines)?

What kind of business will it be MareGaea?

Is there an official website in English that gives information to budding businessmen in Poland, especially expats?

I think You are asking abt something else- law You can check yourself (or your attorney will help)
1. Polish administration is not helpfull. In fact stupidity and avoiding common sense is normal. You may have luck or simpliest things can take months
2. restrictive bankruptcy proceedings- now it's hard to avoid personal responsibility of Board in case of bankruptcy
3. And something better- there is many different inspections, etc., but if you already have estabilished bussines any penalties are symbolic for 100+ employees company
4. abt labor law- polish workers are used to longer workin day. Formally it's 40 h/week with very limited overtime. In fact working day in one-shift factory is 10 hours

other things or my help as attorney- PM please

Wroclaw Boy  
6 Sep 2008 /  #14
Wrocławs finest business



LwowskaKrakow 28 | 431  
12 Sep 2008 /  #15
I'm asking this for a friend who is thinking of setting up a quite big enterprise in or near Wroclaw. (and I want to know plainly out of curiosity:) )

Your friend will definitely need the assistance of a bilingual HR manager or Work Law lawyer to explain all the subtleties of the Polish Work Code such as mandatory and non mandatory policies employers must /may implement (sick leave policy, maternity leave policy, breaks, holiday policy etc)
bolek 6 | 330  
1 Oct 2008 /  #16
If you want to loose all your money go ahead and set up a business in Poland, Poland has so much red tape and laws which are hard to understand that you best go elsewhere, If you go ahead make sure you are prepared to pay a lot of money in bribes to everyperson you deal with in the course of your business. A lot of big businesses have 3 year tax concessions, once that make some money they withdraw there business and trade under a different name. Poles have low income and unless you want to produce a new beer or vodka forget it.
ukpolska  
1 Oct 2008 /  #17
wow, I really don't understand why certain people are making a big deal about setting up a business in Poland.
As most of the regulations are just common sense and after owning a business in the UK and France there really isn't a lot of difference, you just adapt to the locality.

When in Rome, be a Roman!!!
bolek 6 | 330  
1 Oct 2008 /  #18
When in Rome, be a Roman!!!

true, when in poland, be a pole, mmmm. = be dishonest, corrupt etc.. how logical
ukpolska  
1 Oct 2008 /  #19
be a pole, mmmm. = be dishonest, corrupt etc.

The same as any other place where have you a business in the world lol
You name me one person that doesn't try to cheat tax in some way.

Legal Disclaimer
The above is an example, and no way do I or my business condone or take part in any illegal activities on the territories of Poland eeeek !!
bolek 6 | 330  
2 Oct 2008 /  #20
You name me one person that doesn't try to cheat tax in some way.

ukpolski some people are slow learners, whilst I agree that most people think cheating the tax system is fair game, I'm talking about something else, and anybody who has had the displeasure of starting up a business in Poland will know what I am talking about. The government and red tape make it very hard, they fail to understand that business is the life blood of any growing economy.
benszymanski 8 | 465  
2 Oct 2008 /  #21
I have a UK private limited company and I recently opened a działalność jako osoba fizyczna and so far my experiences mirror what ukpolska is saying.

It has been not particularly difficult and I have found that (maybe because I am a foreigner) the people in the Urząd Skarbowy and the ZUS people have made a real effort to help me and explain what to do.
ukpolska  
3 Oct 2008 /  #22
The government and red tape make it very hard, they fail to understand that business is the life blood of any growing economy.

You should try opening a company in France then !!!
French authorities love to make you squirm by giving you snippets of information, so you have to return about 20 times, and I am sure this is in their national directive on how to be an ass-hole.

Bolek, do you own a company in Poland or are you views just supposition on your part ???

działalność jako osoba fizyczna

Fantastic blog benszymanski, well written and objective with a little rant from time to time... great work !!!
benszymanski 8 | 465  
3 Oct 2008 /  #23
Thanks, appreciate it. Actually I have just started recording a series of podcasts and am looking for victims to interview.

If you or anyone else is interested please PM me.

The idea is to interview a range of expats living in Poland to give people a feel for what life is like here, advice etc.. Its in the form of a skype/phone call which I record and then edit.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
3 Oct 2008 /  #24
It is a bit of a hassle, trying to manage tax issues and discounts for ur firm. I have a financial guy help me out. The start up process is a bit of a headache too. U have to go through several steps, moving around from office to office. It just involves patience and going along with it.
armada - | 4  
26 Nov 2008 /  #25
Hi Ben

I visit Poland every month & know 2 English guys who now live in different parts of poland. One has had some very interesting experiences & insights into Polish mentality & "culture"

If you want to send me your email address I'll forward it on to them.

Regards

CT
pklipp  
27 Nov 2008 /  #26
That's insane. I am an American and I started Lunar Logic Polska in 2004. I have never been asked for a bribe and I have met with no "red tape." I just registered with the relevant offices and I pay my taxes every month and I've never had any trouble of the sort you suggest.
Bnjmn - | 1  
30 Dec 2008 /  #27
Merged: How to start up business and funds in Poland?

Hello,

I'd like to know which funds can i ask for setting up a business (IT/Web) in Poland-as a foreigner (French)?
I saw a lots of government funds available but for development, not for start.
In the same way, European funds available.
Thank you
Regards.
Benjamin
LondonChick 31 | 1,133  
30 Dec 2008 /  #28
I don't have a definitive answer, but think about it.... a start-up is always risky. The EU / Polish government and even venture capitalists aren't going to dole out money willy-nilly. You need to have some sort of track record. Development grants are only awarded to schemes that show potential.

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